The Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation of our German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) awards Dr. Prathiba Kumari the Prize for the best plant science publication, which is endowed with 1,000 Euros. "In the published work, Dr. Kumari has identified a class of proteins that govern the correct positioning of the cell plate during cytokinesis and thus play a key role in plant cell division”, the board of the foundation explains its decision. These IQD proteins are linked to the cytoskeleton of plant cells and are part of a navigation system that coordinates the spatial control of cell division. Consequently, plants lacking these IQD proteins display chaotically arranged plant cells. With her article published in the journal Nature Plants (IQ67 DOMAIN proteins facilitate preprophase band formation and division-plane orientation DOI: 10.1038/s41477-021-00923-z), Dr. Kumari from the working group of Dr. Katharina Bürstenbinder from the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle, Germany, has significantly expanded our understanding of cell division in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and thus of plant growth and development. Dr. Kumari, who is currently conducting plant research as a PostDoc at the Umeå Plant Science Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), will be awarded the certificate in 2024 at the next International Conference of our German Society for Plant Sciences in Halle, Germany; the plant scientist already received the prize money by now.
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